On Friday evening, June 8th, the Irish Archaeology Field School officially launched the third season of excavations of the Blackfriary.
All formal events for the field school so far have bucketed rain and this was no exception! Due to the poor weather and muddy site conditions, the on-site element of the event was called off, but thankfully this didn’t stop people braving the elements to show up to the re-located launch in the warmth of the Trim Castle Hotel.
Trim Town Council Cathaoirleach Cllr Jimmy O’Shea and the Meath County Council Cathaoirleach Cllr Eoin Holmes both were on hand to help officially launch the 2012 excavation season; Cathaoirleach Cllr Jimmy O’Shea talked about the significance of the site and Cathaoirleach Cllr Eoin Holmes discussed the importance of heritage and of community archaeology to the town of Trim and the county of Meath.
Following this, a joint lecture was given by field school director Steve Mandal and Principal Investigator Finola O’Carroll. Steve explained both the history of the school and the origin of the community project, along with the importance of communication and engagement with the local community in helping to preserve the archaeology. Fin then gave a lecture on the archaeology and history of the site, findings from previous seasons and finished off with the excavation plans for the 2012 season, leaving everyone feeling excited about the project and the students anxious to get out digging again!
During the Q&A that followed we were interested to hear what people thought of the project and suggestions for the future of the site. The obligatory tea & coffee break gave guests, including international and Irish students, academics, local people and visitors, a chance to chat further about the project.
Despite the weather, the evening was a success and we are grateful to everyone who attended in showing both interest and support. Thanks to Trim Town Council and Meath County Council also for their support, and to Trim Castle Hotel for their hospitality.
(L-R) Noel French (Trim Chamber of Commerce), Trim Town Council Manager Des Foley, Prof. Gabriel Cooney (UCD), Cathaoirleach Cllr Eoin Holmes, Meath Heritage Officer Loreto Guinan, Finola O’Carroll (IAFS), Steve Mandal (IAFS), Cathaoirleach Cllr Jimmy O’Shea
If you missed us at the launch, mark July 22nd in your calendar for the site community open day (chances are you will need your waterproofs). This will be a day event and include activities for children as well as site tours.
And of course you can visit us at any time to see work in progress on the site for the duration of the excavation season.